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Overview of the seminar series
This series of four one-day interdisciplinary and cross-sector seminars will seek to improve -- and address gaps -- in the implementation and monitoring of the UNCRC in Scotland. Each seminar will examine the UNCRC from the perspectives of law, practice, policy and next steps for implementation. The seminar series is being held in partnership between Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), the University of Edinburgh (Centre for Research on Families and Relationships) and the University of Stirling (Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection). The series has been funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII).
All seminars will be held from 9:30 – 16:00 and will run as follows:
1. The UNCRC in Law: Friday 10th February 2017
2. The UNCRC in Practice: Monday 20th March 2017
3. The UNCRC in Policy: Monday 24th April 2017
4. The UNCRC Going Forwards: Thursday 1st June 2017
Context and aims
Since 2008, there have been significant and welcome legislative and policy developments in relation to children’s rights. This includes the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act which places the UNCRC on statute for the first time, albeit falling far short of the UN Committee’s recommendation of full incorporation into law.
The Act requires Scottish Ministers to give due consideration to ways in which the UNCRC can be better implemented in Scotland. Whilst this is a welcome step, it does not ‘ensure that the principles and provisions of the Convention are directly applicable and justiciable’. The 2014 Act leaves it to Ministerial discretion as to whether it is considered ‘appropriate’ to further the UNCRC. Reporting duties on public bodies and Ministers under Part 1 of the 2014 Act do provide a welcome and useful opportunity to mainstream children’s rights into decision-making, but fall short of requiring any action to implement the UNCRC.
Further steps can and should be taken to give legal effect to the UNCRC at both UK and devolved levels. Together’s 2016 State of Children’s Rights report evidenced that children’s lived experiences of their rights remain patchy and many UN Committee recommendations are still outstanding. This seminar series aims to explore how civil society and academia can work with government to ensure the full implementation of children’s rights across Scotland.
Seminar One – the UNCRC in Law
The first seminar will explore the strengths and weaknesses of using legislation to progress UNCRC implementation. From this, we aim to agree a set of priorities for research, policy and practice in Scotland to support the implementation of the Children & Young People Act and drive improved monitoring and implementation of the UNCRC at a local and national government level.
The seminar will include discussion and debate from a range of child law specialists and academics including representatives from Wales, Ireland and Scotland, and presentations from third sector representatives such as Clan Childlaw. There will be a panel discussion on the pros and cons of incorporating the UNCRC into Law, after which delegates will be given the opportunity to contribute to the debate.
Professor Ursula Kilkelly: Professor of Law at University College Cork. Ursula is an international children's rights scholar. She has published widely on children's rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and youth justice.
Dr Simon Hoffman: Associate Professor of the College of Law and Criminology at Swansea University, and co-ordinator of the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People.
Alison Reid: Principal Solicitor and Chief Executive of Clan Childlaw, a unique advocacy and legal service for children and young people.
Juliet Harris: Director of Together, the Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights.
Professor Elaine Sutherland: Professor of Child and Family Law at the Law School, University of Stirling and Distinguished Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, USA. She has lectured on child and family law around the world.
Who should attend ‘The UNCRC in Law’
The seminars are intended to be cross-cutting and multi-sectoral. They are targeted at all those working with and for children and young people, and are an opportunity for legal practitioners and academics to share their expertise with others.
Further information about the programme
Registration for each seminar will open as they progress. You will be kept fully informed and receive another registration invite for the second seminar and so on as they open.
Through SUII funding, we are able to provide the seminar series free of charge.
For any questions regarding this programme, please contact email@example.com or call 0131 337 9015.